Blessed with serenity and brimming in history and culture, Dhauli is home to the famous rock edicts of Ashoka. It is said that Dhauli is the place where the battle of Kalinga was fought. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka conquered this battle in 265 BC. Despite his victory, the horrors and the misery of this battle filled him with remorse. As a result of this, his ambition changed from military conquest (Dig-Vijaya) to spiritual conquest (Dharma-Vijaya). With that, Ashoka repudiated the path of violence in favour of embracing Buddhism in Dhauli which was then became an important Buddhist centre. He then issued his new adages in rock edicts that were installed in different parts around his empire. And one of these edicts lies here at the base of the hill. Ashoka also built various pillars, chaityas, and stupas here at Dhauli. Apart from this, Peace Pagoda (Vishwa Shanti Stupa) is another attraction of Dhauli that is located on the top of the hill. In 1972, it was built by Japan Buddha Sangha and Kalinga Nippon Buddha Sangha which is an Indo-Japanese collaboration. The beautiful white double storey structure comfortably standing on a platform in the form of a large dome with lotus petals as its crown. The top of this stupa is covered with five chhatris (umbrellas) which represents the five aspects of Buddhism.
Best Time to Visit
The season of winter (October-March) is the best time to visit Dhauli. During this time, the weather remains pleasant and in favourable of tourism.
How to Reach?
Bhubaneswar Railway station is the nearest railhead from Dhauli which is located at a distance of 12 km. Similarly, the nearest airhead from Dhauli is also in Bhubaneswar which Biju Patnaik International Airport (11 km). One can also reach the place through the vast network of roads and national highways from nearby cities and town.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
- Bhubaneswar: The capital city of Bhubaneswar is indeed the most talked-about tourist attractions in Odisha. Located just at a distance of 20 km, Bhubaneswar is an ancient city having its mention in the epic Mahabharata. Moreover, the city is also a home to some of the oldest temple in the country; Lingaraja Temple being just one of them.
- Cuttack: Popularly renowned as the former capital of Odisha, Cuttack is also called as ‘The Millennium City’ and ‘Silver City’ of India. Just like Bhubaneswar, the city of Cuttack is also a home to many pilgrimage sites that trace their history from ancient times.
- Puri: The coastal city of Puri is located 50 km away from Dhauli. One of the Char Dhams, Jagannath Puri is the star attraction of this place. Apart from the temple, the enthralling city of Puri is also known for its picturesque lakes and fascinating beaches.